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Landslide still blocks Georgia-Russia road:
Georgia suggests alternative routes

28 Jun 2016 - 13:38:00

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Agenda.ge,28 Jun 2016 - 13:38, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Interior Ministry is offering several alternative routes for people wanting to go to Russia from Georgia but can’t as a landslide still blocks the only road linking the two countries.

Today the Ministry suggested three alternative routes:

  1. From Georgia’s southern Kvemo Kartli region through the Red Bridge checkpoint at the border with Azerbaijan;
  2. From Georgia’s southern Kvemo Kartli region through the Vakhtangisi checkpoint at the border with Azerbaijan; and
  3. From Georgia’s eastern Kakheti region through the Lagodekhi-Tsodna checkpoint at the border with Azerbaijan.

All three proposed alternative routes mean passengers must travel to Baku, Azerbaijan, from where they will be able to get to the Russian Federation via Makhachkala - the capital of Dagestan, Russia.

The Interior Ministry said the Red Bridge and Lagodekhi-Tsodna routes were open to all vehicles while the Vakhtangisi route was open to all vehicles except truck and trailer units, semi-trailer trucks, buses and minibuses.

A one kilometre section of the Mtskheta-Stepantsminda-Larsi Road (Georgian Military Highway) that links Georgia and Russia remains closed following the June 23 landslide in northern Georgia’s Devdoraki Gorge. 

The landslide completely wiped out the road, which means a checkpoint at the Georgia-Russia border cannot be reached by road transport.

A one kilometre section of the Mtskheta-Stepantsminda-Larsi Rd (Georgian Military Highway) that links Georgia and Russia remains closed following the June 23 landslide. Photo by Georgia’s Road Department 

Georgia’s Road Department said all vehicles were prohibited from moving along the 134-135km section of the Military Highway, as it had been completely destroyed by the landslide.

Last week Georgia’s Interior Ministry transported about 60 people via helicopter from Stepantsminda to the Dariali Gorge, from where they were escorted by police to the Larsi checkpoint at the border with Russia. 

Most of these people were Russian tourists who were provided with accommodation and food by the Georgian side after they had to stay in the country longer than intended due the landslide.

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